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  1. #1
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    limited shelf life, please reply quickly to this

    Congressman Denny Rehberg is taking a poll of people who are either for or against the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act. This is a mega-wilderness bill and it has made it to the house for debate. He needs the survey results before Thursday the 18th. Idaho and Montana take the biggest hit from this proposal. It makes the Boulder/White Clouds look pretty tiny. We can't just sit back and let our representatives flounder without ammunition. Here is the link to Denny's website, the survey is near the bottom of the page. Please take a minute or less to check the box and write your name. thanks.http://www.house.gov/rehberg/

  2. #2
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    Go here:

    http://www.house.gov/rehberg/survey.shtml

    It will take you straight to the survey.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  3. #3
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    Wouldn't be much riding left if this bill passed forget about
    fischer creek
    loon lake
    bull trout
    danskins
    and more....
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  4. #4
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    I voted NO (duh)

    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook
    Wouldn't be much riding left if this bill passed forget about
    fischer creek
    loon lake
    bull trout
    danskins
    and more....
    NO, I do not support this bill. I agree with Congressman Denny Rehberg that this legislation would be bad for Montana.

    A bit confused - Chris, where did you get that map and legend? The bill specifically indicates it just covers state of MT?

  5. #5
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    NREPA is not just a montana bill, it designates lands in idaho, wy, or, wa, and montana. You can just search for nrepa in google and find all sorts of info. They claim the bill would bring economic prosperity, but I think the only thing it will do is turn some idaho towns into ghost towns...

    This is a bad bill for idaho and is not supported by any of our congressional reps.

    In the end the wilderness people want to see us banned from every scenic place to ride.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook
    In the end the wilderness people want to see us banned from every scenic place to ride.
    That's just not true, Chris, and you know it. But keep up the alarmist rhetoric. It's been effective for Bush and Cheney.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by boisematt
    That's just not true, Chris, and you know it. But keep up the alarmist rhetoric. It's been effective for Bush and Cheney.
    NREPA is being pushed by the enviromentalist, closing all of the great trails in Idaho. Doesn't get more factual than that...
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  8. #8
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    Yeah, and "the environmentalist" is doing it to spite mountain bikers. You're giving yourself WAY too much credit. It is laughable that you think NREPA has anything to do with mountain biking. FWIW, I don't support NREPA as legislation, though I think the concepts it tries to address (large scale land preservation, wildlife migration corridors, etc) are worth supporting. I'm not going to vote on that online pole, though...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook
    NREPA is being pushed by the enviromentalist...
    Um... Which environmentalist are you talking about? What's he name?

    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook
    ...closing all of the great trails in Idaho.
    All of them? Every single one of them What a shame.

    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook
    In the end the wilderness people...
    The wilderness people? The hairy ones? The one carrying the clubs and stone axes?

    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook
    ...see us banned from every scenic place to ride.
    Thank goodness they are not trying to keep us off of the butt ugly trails. At least there will still be butt ugly trails that aren't great to ride.


    You obviously are generalizing excessively. Hence your argument is poor and position is weak. Consider yourself warned.

    Get a clue Chris. God forbid you stumble over your own rhetoric (again) and spoil the whole gig for the rest of us.

    You do know what rhetoric is don't you? Here's a clue.
    Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCrank
    Um... Which environmentalist are you talking about? What's he name?


    All of them? Every single one of them What a shame.


    The wilderness people? The hairy ones? The one carrying the clubs and stone axes?


    Thank goodness they are not trying to keep us off of the butt ugly trails. At least there will still be butt ugly trails that aren't great to ride.


    You obviously are generalizing excessively. Hence your argument is poor and position is weak. Consider yourself warned.

    Get a clue Chris. God forbid you stumble over your own rhetoric (again) and spoil the whole gig for the rest of us.

    You do know what rhetoric is don't you? Here's a clue.
    Warned by who? You must be the forum authority since you appear to be all knowing when it comes to every topic.

    What is your veiw on nrepa? Do you support or oppose the bill.

    Why don't you stay on task for once...
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by boisematt
    Yeah, and "the environmentalist" is doing it to spite mountain bikers. You're giving yourself WAY too much credit. It is laughable that you think NREPA has anything to do with mountain biking. FWIW, I don't support NREPA as legislation, though I think the concepts it tries to address (large scale land preservation, wildlife migration corridors, etc) are worth supporting. I'm not going to vote on that online pole, though...
    I would agree that large scale land preservation, wildlife migration corridors, etc. are worth supporting. Then it would not be a big deal to allow me to continue to ride my bike in those areas.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook
    Warned by who? You must be the forum authority since you appear to be all knowing when it comes to every topic.

    What is your veiw on nrepa? Do you support or oppose the bill.

    Why don't you stay on task for once...
    Take a chill pill, Scooter. I criticized your delivery, not your passion.
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  13. #13
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    This whole thing is so wrong on so many levels . . .

    1. First is the whole wilderness debate. My experience is that MTBers are among the most conservation-minded folks around. I admit "my experience" is purely anecdotal and not a statistically significant sample, but I suspect most of us would claim similar experience. Rather than seeking us as an ally, the environmental groups pushing this and similar legislation mark us for exclusion as well. There is nothing alarmist about stating this; the official position of the Sierra Club et.al. is well documented. What annoys me most is the hypocracy of wilderness designation itself, which says it's unnatural for me to bring my two-wheeled aluminum toy into the wilderness, but it's perfectly natural for a backpacker to wear his space-age gore-tex and velcro, sleep in his hollofill sleeping bag in a tent with ultra-lightweight titanium poles and rip-stop nylon rain fly while eating freeze-dried foods prepared over a flame from a white gas stove whilst being able to pinpoint his position on the globe within two feet by receiving a GPS signal from a satellite constellation. Until Mr/Ms Backpacker hand carve an arrowhead out of a piece of rock, lash it to an arrow, sling it from their handmade bow, kill thier own buffalo, and use it to provide them with food, whelter, and clothing, I can't buy into saying a bike doesn't belong in the wilderness. Furthermore, anybody who has followed a horse on the trail, knows just who causes the most damage. (the preceeding paragraph admittedly has some hyperbole, but the logic is sound)

    2. I can imagine nothing more disingenuous than claiming the creation of so much wilderness will boost the economy! First of all, establishing wilderness has nothing to do with economic growth--it's about preservation. Second, claiming economic growth in conjunction with wilderness establisnment is talking out of both sides of the mouth at once trying to please the environmentalists and the capitalists at the same time. Third, the creation of wilderness excludes a multitude of user groups, many of whom have deep pockets, so whatever you encourage by bringing in a few hikers that would have otherwise not come will be more than offset by the loss of bikers, snowmobilers, ATVers, 4X4ers, etc. Finally, economic growth has generally proven to be the enemy of preservation as the more folks move in with cash, the more development takes place, and the more pressure is placed on all public lands, wilderness or not. (the preceeding paragraph takes no position, but rather attempts to point out inconsistencies that need to be rectified before anyone taking such a position can be taken seriously)

    3. Having little experience in Idaho, I can't say whether "all of the great trails in Idaho" is an excessive generalization or not. I know the names given on the list above the map are names I see regularly on this forum. I will take for granted that the map is accurate--if it isn't then what follows is invalid. While not an Idaho expert, I have become very familiar with Central Montana. The map indicates new wilderness areas that would totally encompass the Highwood Mountains, Big Snowy Mountains, the Castle Mountains, the overwhelming majority of the Little Belt Mountains, and virtually all of the Rocky Mountain Front not already claimed by the Bob Marshall, Scapegoat, and Great Bear Wilderness Areas. So I can safely say this would wipe out all the good trails in Central Montana. It looks like other parts of Montana would be equally hard hit.

    4. I'm not impressed with Rep Renberg's survey. It's clear he has his opinion, and it's one I agree with, but his presentation is somewhat offensive as the site portends to present an unbiased survey, but the wording of the question clearly steers the participant in a particular direction. Furthermore, the average respondee will have even less knowledge of the issue than the politicians. Again, I agree with the desired outcome, but have a problem with a lack of intellectual honesty.

    5. I generally have problems with Eastern politicians using their position to drive changes 2,000 miles from their homes when they probably have never stepped foot in most of the affected areas. I don't care what "data" they have, until the walk a mile in our moccasins, they should stick to sponsoring legislation they know something about. (disclaimer: I apologize in advance to Reps Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Christopher Shays (R-CT) if they have spent time in the affected areas)

    6. Just as claiming that "In the end the wilderness people want to see us banned from every scenic place to ride" may be counterproductive to our cause, neither does another gratuitous Bush/Cheney slam. It is good to stay on point.

    The single most frustrating thing about this whole debate is its binary nature: wilderness/not wilderness. It's clear that we need some way other than wilderness designation to preserve land. As long as the groups that push wilderness designation get their way, there will never be any incentive for them to partner with the larger conservation-minded community for the good of all.
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCrank
    Take a chill pill, Scooter. I criticized your delivery, not your passion.
    sorry rought day... someone hit the girlfriends car and drove off and vandalized my yard...
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fischman
    The single most frustrating thing about this whole debate is its binary nature: wilderness/not wilderness. It's clear that we need some way other than wilderness designation to preserve land. As long as the groups that push wilderness designation get their way, there will never be any incentive for them to partner with the larger conservation-minded community for the good of all.
    I agree - the frustrating bit is the binary nature of the argument, but it doesn't need to be that way. Open discussion with a willingness to compromise on both sides is the way policy is or should be made, but taking Wilderness off the table is certainly NOT a way to endear yourself to Wilderness advocates. I can just as easily say that as long as mountain bike groups are not willing to discuss wilderness, there is no incentive for them to partner with the larger, conservation-minded community for the good of all. So it goes both ways. The trick is getting everyone to the table (who is truly willing to talk and to compromise). I think if mountain bike groups would come willing to discuss Wilderness, just as if environmental groups come willing to discuss accommodating mountain bike interests, we would get a lot farther and it would end the zero sum nature of this argument, all the wile using existing tools (land management designations) to the benefit of everyone...

  16. #16
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    Certainly, being a reasonable, open-minded collaborator is prefereable . ..

    . . . but I fear the only way to "endear yourself to wilderness advoacates" is to simply acquiesce to all their demands. If wilderness advocates were willing to share, the wouldn't, by definition, be wilderness advocates. There are plenty of conservation-minded organizations/platforms that don't focus on the creation of new wilderness.

    I agree that willingness to work together and being willing to sacrifice something in the name of reasonable compromise is the best way to optimize for everyone's needs, but the creation of designated wilderness is all give and no take--there is no compromise involved--MTBs lose. Period. We have already lost far too much. As of July, 2004, there were over 105 MILLION acres of designated wilderness areas in the United States, and more has been added since. To be honest, much of this area is not suitable to biking (i.e., there are over 12 million acres in the Gates of the Arctic alone--not exactly high on every MTBers wish list).

    Before I'm branded as an unreasonable MTB zealot, I have to share the following: I was a backcountry hiker for decades before purchasing my first bike. I started hitting the backcountry in my boots at age 12 but didn't purchase my first bike until I was 35. In the intervening years, I never really thought about biking. Even as a hiker (and longtime equestrian), I never minded when I encountered a bike on the trail. Rather than being disturbed by their presence, I tended to think "those guys look like they're having fun." Still years before thinking about buying a bike, I was disappointed every time I saw a sign indicating a particular trail was closed to bikes. Rather than taking a selfish joy in not having to share the trail, I lamented the fact that people who would enjoy the trail weren't allowed to do so. BTW, passing, or being passed by a horse is more dangerous than a MTB and any noise caused by a MTB that may detract from the "wilderness experience" is miniscule compared to hiking in the vicinity of sombody with a "bear bell" attached to their walking stick. Bottom line--my desire to keep trail access far predates my interest in biking.

    Also, to show a willingess to compromise and, dare I say it, think "out of the box," I offer three alternatives (I'm sure other folks can think of more):
    1. As previously discussed, some new land designation that effectively preserves while not precluding this harmless (if practiced with proper etiquette) activity.
    2. Since simple generation of new wilderness is NOT a compromise but a simple sacrifice without a corresponding gain, I offer the following: appropriate land swap with existing wilderness. If new wilderness is to be created, it shoul be offset by the opening of certain trails in existing wilderness to bikes. Maybe by means of placing that land in the intermediate status indicated above. As an example, there are many trails that start and end in non-wilderness areas, but have some portion pass through a corner of wilderness. Thus, rather than having a killer loop, you're left with two relatively short, weak out-and-backs. You would not have an appreciable effecton the "wilderness experience" as the hikers have to cross all that non-wilderness to get there in the first place. Bottom line--new wilderness should focus on those areas less suitable for MTBs and be offset by the opening of existing wilderness more suitable for MTBs.
    3. This one does fall in the category of sacrifice without compensation, but it's a more reasonable sacrifice in some cases. Some trails in the Wasatch adjacent to Salt Lake City are only open to MTBs every other day. The popular Centennial Cone in the Colorado Front Range close to Denver has an even better approach by going evens/odds only on weekends, thus limiting the restriction to peak times. Although not technically a compromise, this could be a method of communicating our willingness to compromise as well as our concern for other user groups. Even better, to make it a true compromise, we could expect equestrians to give up every other day as well to completely eliminate potential conflicts on the trail.
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  17. #17
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    Some good thoughts Fischman. I like the miles exchange idea. I can think of one exchange I would want and that is to pull the wilderness boundry back a little so that bikes can ride the entire elkhorn crest trail. People already poach it now since it is right on the edge of the boundry and for a very short distance of the whole trail, but there is a good example...

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilycook
    sorry rought day... someone hit the girlfriends car and drove off and vandalized my yard...

    It must have been the environmentalist!!!
    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch
    It must have been the environmentalist!!!
    I knew it, those bastards... Maybe I should check my truck tires for tree spikes
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fischman
    I agree that willingness to work together and being willing to sacrifice something in the name of reasonable compromise is the best way to optimize for everyone's needs, but the creation of designated wilderness is all give and no take--there is no compromise involved--MTBs lose. Period.
    Consider that, to Wilderness advocates, giving up certain areas that would ensure continued use of mountain bikes IS a loss - that is the very nature of give and take. But by your statements, you have perpetuated the binary nature of the debate when it need not be that way if both groups can consider concessions to the other as a loss of that group's interest. If you don't recognize a concession by a Wilderness advocate as a gain for your interests because there is still <X-minus-the-area-conceded> acres of Wilderness in which you cannot ride, then there's not much room for actual good faith discussion.

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    Uh, maybe I don't understand

    Someone may have a perception that something is a concession, but that doesn't automatically mean that it is a concession.

    I guess I don't see how "giving up certain areas that would ensure continued use of mountain bikes IS a loss." Are you saying that that allowing some areas that are not currently wilderness to be prevented from becoming wilderness is a concession? If an area is not currently closed to MTBs and it is not closed in the future, nothing has changed, so you have lost nothing--it wasn't something you could concede in the first place, so you've made no real concession. If I read your statement correctly, anybody who wanted to convert every square mile of roadless area on the planet into wilderness could claim to have made great concessions for evey square mile that wasn't. This is hardly a rational baseline for an constructive argument. If it was, MTBs could claim that they have made great concessions by giving up the quest to allow MTBs in the wilderness. It's something we wanted, something we lobbied for, but failed to achieve. When we threw in the towel, we did not claim to have made some great concession.

    "If you don't recognize a concession by a Wilderness advocate as a gain for your interests because there is still acres of Wilderness in which you cannot ride, then there's not much room for actual good faith discussion." You really lost me on this one. First, I believe the opening, "If you don't recognize a concession," to be a logical misstep as your example is not actually a concession, but rather a continuation of the current baseline. Even setting that aside, however, the middle, "a gain for your interests because there is still acres of Wilderness in which you cannot ride," by your reasoning, sounds like a concession by MTBs, not wilderness advocates. By my reasoning, it's a continutation of the status quo, ergo no gains or losses by anyone. Either way, it is impossible to construe "still acres of Wilderness in which you cannot ride" as a concession by wilderness advocates.

    Of course, we should all strive to maximize utility for all. That's why the land swap arrangement is so attractive. Given that some areas are more inherently suited to one activity than other, each side could gain highly desired routes in exchange for sharing less desireable routes. That would be a net qualitative gain for all.

    I remain a member of a number of user groups, including backpackers, so I have no preconceived bias here. I'm just looking for consistency.

    MTBs are fast, they squeak and rattle, and degrade the wilderness experience for other backcounty enthusiasts. On the other hand, hikers are slow and disturb the flow of a good bike ride. Yet bikes are banned from many trails, with many more on the chopping block, yet hikers are banned from none (that I know of). Inconsistent. This has been the baseline for so long that we've accepted it as "right" and lost track of the inconsistency. Horses poop, making every ride a potentially $h1tty experience, but they are not banned from most trails. Inconsistent. If bikers are willing to put up with dodging trail apples and having their flow disturbed on every ride, why can't hikers and equestrians put up with an occasional bike crossing their path (assuming good trail etiquette, of course)? I know I've strayed from the core debate, but these questions are pertinent as they are all symptoms of the same problem. Inconsistency. At this time, the inconsistency has come at the expense of MTBs.

    Even though the current baseline is logically inconsistent and just plain wrong, I have accepted it and use it as the starting point for my argument. Inasmuch, I have already made the first concession.
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  22. #22
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    Denny went to bat today...

    But I missed the live broadcast when he was on. I hope he did good. Some lady named "King" from Idaho was on quite a bit. She is one of the architects of the NREPA. I could feel my blood start to boil as she spoke about needing to save the "carbon sink" that is the dark green on the map. And the need for vast bilogical corridors. She built her home on the end of one of the proposed wilderness areas. She may have conveniently drawn the boundary around her place? She maintained that the size of the bill is necessary because it's not about areas, it's about saving ecological zones. the moderator sounded as though he was buying it! Maybe they tend to be polite in D.C. committees.

    Other testifyers were some ex county commissioners from Montana, who spoke about the devastation this huge bill would cause. Economically, recreationally, fire suppression, socially. The moderator was polite to those guys also. I don't know what to make of it.

    I have enjoyed you guy's debate here. Any ideas how we can get a wilderness lite bill started?

  23. #23
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    Caroll King....

    She is not bike friendly. As for starting a bill, we would have to bring it up with a congressional member who would be willing to run with it in DC. The bill would have to be tighter than the sweetest piece of singletrack.
    ...building wherever they'll let me...

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    It isn't a bill?

    It's called HR 1975. Seems pretty official to me.

    It is not a tight bill. It is more of a gigantic concept. It is counter to every other wilderness area ever created because of it's vagueness.

    Dang it Carol. Guess I'll have to dig out my old album and have some target practice. But she wrote a lot of those Monkee's songs too, I don't want to shoot my Monkees records. What a quandary!

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    Fischman - I see your points and I think I understand your perspective better now. Still, I don't think it's as black and white as you make it out to be in ALL cases, but I understand that if an area is open to mountain biking and it is subject to closure but "negotiated" to not be closed that the scenario can be perceived as not a concession. But hope you can see my perspective as well - if not, that's fine too.

    I think this would be better discussed outside of the written word which can be easily misinterpreted or less than ideally communicated from the point of the thought in my head to how it is expressed on this forum, so I apologize for any ambiguity. I'm just hopeful that mountain bikers, wilderness advocates, and those who happen to be both can figure out a way to be allies in these discussions as opposed to adversaries. Let's all go sing Koombyah together now, OK?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visicypher
    Caroll King....

    She is not bike friendly.
    Oh the irony of Caroll King. She advocates for large wilderness areas, but has a castle of a home right on the proposed wilderness border. I guess she got her cookie out of the jar and now she closed the lid for the rest of us.
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  27. #27
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    Sure looks that way. I guess she really doesn't want anyone else to build a house that would impact her views from her house..
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  28. #28
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    Koombaya My Lord . . .

    Koombaya.

    Sorry about my hyperbole-laden tirade. I was simply unable to find a more pleasant way to make and important point. Your bottom line is correct--we've all got to find a way to get together on this. That may require both sides to make what they perceive to be unfair concessions, but that's what it takes to meet in the middle. Okay--horse dead now, ready to move on.

    Regarding the whole Carole King thing--I was once told that the main difference between the developer and the conservationist is that the conservationist already has his home in the woods. Funny how celebrities will use thier money to buy for themselves exactly what they use their celebrity to prevent others from obtaining. Why is it everyone thinks the woods are never full until immediately after they move in?
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

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